water safety statement

Cataraqui Conservation has extended the current Water Safety Statement due to high flows and water levels and the forecast for more rain.

Weather Situation:

Weather forecasts are calling for a mix of precipitation for January 4 and January 5, including rain and freezing rain. Total amounts and form of precipitation are uncertain, but forecasts suggest a range of between 10 – 30 mm+, the bulk of which will fall during the afternoon/evening of January 4 and into the early hours of January 5. Some weather forecasts suggest southern portions of the region are more likely to receive mostly rain, while areas further north are more likely to experience a mix of precipitation.


Elevated runoff from the forecast rain can be expected, especially in areas with saturated ground conditions from recent rainfall and snow melt.

Current stream flows and water levels on area lakes are high for this time of year. Many are at springtime levels. Further increases are expected, especially if the higher rainfall amounts materialize.

Flows through water control structures are high as Water Managers increase discharge through dams to balance water levels and mitigate, as much as possible, negative impacts.

Cataraqui Conservation is urging caution around all dams (inflow and outflow channels) and fast-flowing watercourses. Respect the hazards in these areas by obeying all warning signs, and keep away from booms, buoys, and barriers. Stay well back from the water’s edge above and below dams and hydroelectric stations. Creek banks and lake shorelines may be slippery, increasing the chance of falling in.

A further deterioration of ice conditions is also expected. Cataraqui Conservation does not measure ice thickness for advising the public about ice conditions for recreational activities. Ice conditions can vary considerably from one waterbody to the next and within a single water body.

The forecasted rainfall may also cause roadway ponding, which may be especially problematic in urban areas and where storm drains and catch basins are blocked by ice and snow or debris.

Widespread flooding is NOT expected at this time. However, some localized inundation of low-lying areas may occur. If you witness flooding and/or require assistance your first point of contact is the local municipality.

Staff will continue to monitor conditions and forecasts and will update statements as needed. This Watershed Conditions Statement will remain in effect until (or updated before) Wednesday, January 11, 2023, at 11:59 PM.

For up-to-date flooding information, please visit our flood forecasting and information page at https://cataraquiconservation.ca/pages/flood

See below for watershed conditions terminology:

Normal: No flood conditions exist

Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety: High flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors that could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected.

Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook: Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.

Flood Watch: Flooding is possible in specific watercourse or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.

Flood Warning: Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities and individuals should take action to deal with flood conditions. This may include road closures and evacuations.